10 weeks post – relaxer day

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So at 10 weeks post relaxer = I decided to end the stretch but the funny thing it wasn’t the regrowth that ruined it.  It was the breakage in the rest of the hair and that’s down to the moisturiser I was using.

I MUST AVOID using the Design Essentials moisturiser, which I used when I was natural, because it makes my hair shed – about 6-7 strands slide out at a time and it totally burnt my hair during the relaxer process – that and the fact that I had so much regrowth that every time she parted my hair she created a sore spot and then slapped the relaxer in that area – I had no hope and was literally in pain 5 minutes into the whole process.    The Design Essentials Moisturiser is also really sticky so overall I think it literally needs go in the bin.

I also didn’t notice a huge increase in length – but then again with all the breakage I experienced towards the end, I was almost expecting to have to hack it off at neck length.  But of course once I realised that I still had hope I was then looking for some extra length.  But what I have realised after checking my hair in my reflection in shop windows and in the train on the way home is that the back of my hair is longer but the front is feathered so that it only looks CBL.   But when I look at the back it’s a bit longer and overall the strands are sitting on my shoulder and bending a lot more so I can notice the difference – it’s subtle though.  But I’m yet to compare to an actual picture of my virgin relaxer 10 weeks ago.

SO – my verdict on relaxer stretching?

I think this time I will see how I like the Keracare moisturiser and Affirm reconstructing conditioner that Deloris, my hairdresser recommended.  If I find that I can bantu knot with it and that my hair remains strong, then I will continue to stretch.  But if that is not the case then I will relax no later (or earlier) than 8 weeks post.  Which is 22nd June, so actually it will end up being 29th June (9 weeks post) since that’ll be after payday, – Deloris closes at 6 on weekdays so there is no way I would make it there after work.

I have to say even though my head was on fire today I liked the way she handled the situation i.e. didn’t ignore me and tell me to get over it like some hair dressers do  – she was generally sympathetic and washed it out straight away.

So I think the pictures show that there has been a slight increase in length.  Although it’s not drastic.

I didn’t have Ndidi (my boyfriend) take a direct back view picture last time.  But the back view picture from today shows that the longest length (my hair is in a V/U shape) is about an inch from APL – so that bit should be APL by my next relaxer.­­­

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Bantu knot-outs, the answer to stretching relaxers?

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So now that I have settled in to week 8 going on 9 of the stretch I think I am quite happy with the stretch at present – I have quite a lot of growth, but it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact I seem to have attracted a few compliments.

My bantu knot outs are pretty much on lock – and the olive oil styling mousse wets the hair but then dries quickly and leaves some moisture in the hair. I was only using it because I thought I needed to use it up and get rid of it, but it seems to be the perfect solution for setting my hair in bantu knots.

I think making it to 12 week post should be fairly easy now that I have this as a go to style.

I think the bantu knots work out to be better than the satin rollers because as they give less volume with the curl. The satin rollers give too much volume which makes my head seem like one big poof ball.

My concern at this stage is that I will definitely be needing a good trim – I hope I haven’t done too much damage to my ends with the detangling frustrations – and I sure hope the growth will outweigh any ends damage.

I think my routine should be as follows:

· weeks 1-3 wrap and wear down

· weeks 3-7 buns

· 8-12 bantu knot and wear up

The bantu knotting is something that probably wouldn’t work too well with a bob although I guess I could have a bantu knotted style – but I remember doing it on short hair and thinking it didn’t lay right enough to wear it down and that I ended up with a bit of an aunty mavis look…

I definitely think relaxed hair suits me better in terms of:

· Price

· Time spent at the salon

· Hair health

· Growth potential

· Styles

· Time spent on hair

Going beyond 8 weeks post relaxer

So as of tomorrow I will be 8 weeks post relaxer. Officially four weeks to go…

This is the official time that I would have normally relaxed back in the day. There is clearly enough new growth at the back -1.25 inches -Front however is only 0.75 of an inch.

I’ like to go another 4 weeks, but might find that 10 weeks is my limit for walking around looking like who shot John, or just generally missing wearing my hair down.

The satin rollers are coming in handy and the olive styling mousse seems to be a good moisturiser for setting the curls as it dries quickly so don’t have to worry about it being wet in the morning.

In an ideal world I would stretch to 16 weeks but it definitely gets difficult from around 6 weeks post – my hair becomes more of a regularly nagging thought from that point onwards.

There is slightly more breakage now too – I went too far with the low manipulation and left my hair in a high pony after washing and putting leave in conditioner in for 3 days in a row, because I was only really moisturising the hair on the outside each morning, the hair on the inside became dry and knotted.

So I had to section it up and roller set it in satin rollers after the 2nd day of moisturising and setting the hair seems to be well moisturised and therefore breaking less.

But I think as a drying method in the first place I should never have left the post washed hair for more than one night without separating the sections and moisturising.

I think deep conditioning weekly is all very well and good, but I need to think about how it dries and how I work the moisture back into it because if the hair is left dryer and more prone to breaking after washing, then it may not be worth washing weekly – Might be better to wash fortnightly to reduce the manipulation from washing.

I definitely will need to cover the ends of my hair in Vaseline when I go for a touch up as the lady seems to believe in relaxing bone straight– which could be detrimental. Ideally I’d put neutralising conditioner on the ends too – but chances are she won’t be too impressed about that step…

So one thing I have come to realise from my back to relaxer experience is that no hairstyle is without its issues be it braids, natural hair, weaves or relaxer – but I definitely prefer the effort – outcome ration from relaxers when compared to natural hair…

What’s the longest I have stretched? I think I accidentally did 10 weeks when in France back in 2002 back then my hair got quite long – I think it may have got to APL – I just remember watching my hair in the mirror and thinking wow its actually quite long and I remember Leyla saying I was acting like I had never seen hair before.